Swinger Burnout: What it is, How to Recognize it, And How to Treat it.
When you are first discussing a non-monogamous Lifestyle, your questions probably focus around how to handle the initial conversation with your partner, how to go about meeting other swingers, and what types of rules and etiquette should be expected. However, after-care, self-care and maintaining that balance in your personal relationships are equally as important topics that are often less discussed.
Just as with any hobby, it’s natural to want to want to fully immerse yourself and experience all the wondrous Lifestyle sensations. You want to go to all the parties, meet all the people… and of course, SEX! But it’s important to remember that you and your partner are on this journey together and maintaining that core relationship will take just as much focus as scouring the LS site, looking for new playmates.
Swinger burnout can come in many forms and is more common than you may think. In fact, it’s a topic that I have recently heard discussed by not only my own LS friends, but on multiple Lifestyle podcasts as well. It is certainly not something to be embarrassed of or discouraged by. In fact, it is an intricate part of growing your Lifestyle partnership and presents a perfect opportunity to practice your communication skills.
Sometimes also referred to as Swinger Complacency, burnout can come in many forms and often has varying triggers. Illness, work pressure, financial obligations & family needs are definitely contributing factors and those are generally the easy causes to spot. However, often times the source of the burnout isn’t as recognizable and that’s where communication becomes extremely important.
Couples who are struggling to pinpoint the cause of the burnout should remember that it is important to recognize that just like daily life, the Swinger Lifestyle ebbs & flows and forms cyclical patterns. LS is a fluid experience and always changing. It’s imperative to check in with your partner and discuss your feelings after a non-monogamy experience. We all experience moments of jealousy and self-doubt, and working together to problem solve and validate these feelings is a good way to head-off becoming burnt out.
Of course, sometimes it's not possible to pinpoint the exact cause, and that is okay too. Maybe it is just an energy shift and your focus is required elsewhere. Maybe it is a lack of sleep and self-care after a long LS weekend. Maybe it was too much stimulation and that has left you feeling emotionally & physically drained. But no matter the cause, burnout is generally temporary and can be remedied by taking a step back and focusing on your primary relationship.
It is not uncommon for Swinger couples to take “breaks” from LS activities. These breaks give couples time to recharge and reconnect. While discussing taking a leave of absence, remember that true LS friends are supportive of your needs. Don’t be afraid of losing important members of your tribe due to these necessary breaks. True friends will understand and have probably even been through similar experiences. There’s no set time frame for a LS break. Some couples only need a month or two, while other couples have taken extended sabbaticals.
Keeping open communication during these breaks is key as both partners need the opportunity to express their sexual, physical, and emotional needs. When the time is right to re-enter the LS world, focus energy on the entire experience. Flirt, build up anticipation, and remember that sex is never an obligation. Often times holding out and being more selective of your sexual encounters can heighten the Lifestyle experience for both partners.
Non-monogamy is an ever evolving journey with your partner. Taking breaks and allowing time to reconnect is all part of the necessary cycle. Every Swinger couple will experience burnout to some degree. Learning to recognize the warning signs and triggers, and being ready with open communication and a plan to refocus on your primary relationship is key to a long and fulfilling Lifestyle experience.